|Retro TV Stars|
|Wednesday, 25 April 2012 22:46|
32 Horses and 32 Mounties were to embark from a train, then chase and capture a terrorist on an ATV. Due South: Season 2, Episode 14 - All the Queen's Horses was a highlight of the show's existance, as the casting of men, animals and stunt personnel were of grandscale for a single-episode.
They first cast the Mounted Mounties as "Special Extras." A look wasn't as important as access to a horse and the ability to ride... and the "Special Extras" featured about 20+ Ontario Rodeo guys and the balance a mix of western and english disciplines... though we all had to ride in English Saddles... and the Mountie Breeches and big boots.
I somehow snuck into this deal... 17 years of age, skinny as a toothpick, on a light bay horse spray painted black. The second part of the casting was for the "Extras", who were the singing mounties, and they were cast more on the "Look", but also to the body types of the "Special Extras". My "Extra" had a skinnier neck than me, as our Mountie Jacket's neck velcro chaffed my neck for the 3 days of rehearseal and shooting.
The scenes were filmed on a treacherous hill in the spring time, and underneath the layer of rough grass was a firm layer of ice. No horses flipped, but there were three really big wrecks of dude's crashing and burning (again...running down an icy hill in an english saddle...)
On the big day of shooting the "Charge", we ran the hill about 9 times with all of the stunt doubles, and then they replaced the doubles with the actors: Leslie Nielsen and Paul Gross. They asked for a few volunteers to do the charge at a trot with the actors for close-ups, and only 8 of us remained.
I was stoked. I slid my horse, Frasier (ironically the same name as the character), in behind Leslie Nielsen and we followed them around, up and down the hill. I was giggling as the Naked Gun Star was like...right there, and I was his "backup" kinda thing. They directed us to the top of the hill, and our orders were to walk over the breast, Nielsen would yell, "Charge", we would point our lances down and safely, and calmly trot down the cliff. No worries....
The second part of this shoot, my Dad still denies that this happened, though, was highlighted when we were circling the ATV with the "terrorist guy" and Camilla Scott on board. I swear she dropped her sunglasses a hair and winked at me... really, guy... haha.
It may not be a 3D Titantic Blockbuster, or a timeless Seinfeld or Cheers episode, but it will definitely be one of the most memorable experiences of my life, and my a part of my short-lived Hollywood North career.
I found this video sample online... enjoy!
Can you recognize any of these riders? Do you remember this show?